NICHOLASVILLE (WDKY)– Kids make cupcakes… what could be cuter?
Bailey Sissom teaches cooking classes for kids several times a month in a dedicated kitchen behind her home in Jessamine County.
The former elementary school teacher says she really focused on cooking about eight or nine years ago when she became a stay-at-home mom.
Many of the young people behind the mixers in her classes come back week after week for more lessons on making the kind of treats they really enjoy.
“They’re a lot of fun because we can learn new cooking techniques,” says 12-year-old Hadley McMillen. “And she always gives us a recipe to take home so we can practice at home and work on those skills.”
But there’s a sweeter purpose here than just making sweet desserts. These classes help fund a nonprofit called “Simply Serving.”
Sissom’s commercial kitchen did not exist two years ago. It was built shortly after she survived a scare. She left an oncology appointment believing she had lymphoma and was about to begin chemotherapy. For five days, she stressed how she would take care of her husband and three young boys. Then she discovered it was a misdiagnosis.
“I still don’t know what happened or why that was, but it gave me the chance to have a really unique perspective of what it’s like to at least embark on that journey,” she said. “I love to cook, so I jumped on Facebook and just decided I’m so thankful I’m going to pay this forward.”
She asked friends if they knew of a family with cancer who could benefit from a freezer full of healthy meals. “I immediately got 18 responses.”
Now she and a team of volunteers get together a few times a month to prepare meals for families dealing with cancer. The families are nominated, friends make online donations and then a freezer is filled with easy-to-prepare meals for a month.
Sissom says it’s better than a meal train because the food comes all at once. There is not that much waste because families can use it over time, when they need it most. But she knows that most families don’t have the storage space for 25 to 30 meals. She why “Simply Serving” always provides a freezer and picks it up when the food runs out.
When 10-year-old Macie Monroe was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, “Simply Serving” posted her story online and received a fully funded meal package in less than two hours. Sissom says that was a record.
“I’m not surprised,” said Macie’s mother, Kellie. “When we found out Macie had cancer, we opened our door the day before chemo and had a community of people in our front yard praying. The support was amazing.”
“Insurance does cover everything we go through medically, but if you have to tear and run and worry about eating out and stuff, the costs add up,” said father Jason Monroe. “Simply Serving was just a blessing.”
So the Lawrenceburg family was able to quickly put meals on the table during the weeks that Macie was undergoing chemotherapy. They were fed by the meal and Macie was fed by documenting her journey online.
“I wanted to share my story for kids who also get cancer so they can search my YouTube channel and know what it feels like,” Macie said. her YouTube channel is Slime Puppy Gaming. She ends most videos with these encouraging words; “Remember, you are stronger than you think.”
“Simply Serving” has a simple purpose. To take a worry off the board from families going through a rough time. It is a recipe with several steps, starting with kids and cupcakes, and ending with blessings in a bag.
“I also get so much out of doing this,” Sissom said. “It’s great to see the families so grateful.”
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